Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Disability and Postdramatic Theater

Return of Storytelling

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2018), 12, (2), 203–219.

Abstract

The article explores the interweaving of theater with and by disabled artists with so-called postdramatic theater practices. It elaborates points of connection between the postdramatic concept and disability aesthetics through an analysis of work by and with disabled artists (such as Theater Thikwa and Monster Truck or Rimini Protokoll). Building on the work of Tobin Siebers, the argument is that a disability aesthetic can be described within the framework of the postdramatic. The popularity of disabled performers in postdramatic works can be examined from a disability studies perspective, in which one can criticize the reduction of disability into a “pure” form, without considering the social, historical, and political aspects of it. Postdramatic forms, however, seem to open up new opportunities for disabled performers because they broaden the aesthetic spectrum away from what Carrie Sandahl calls a “tyranny of the neutral,” shifting a traditionally rigid concept of acting to a broader aesthetical spectrum of performance, including different sensorial, cognitive, and physical states.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Bartlett, Jennifer, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen, eds. Beauty is a Verb. The New Poetry of Disability. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2011. Print. Beauty is a Verb. The New Poetry of Disability Google Scholar

Baumbach, Gerda. Schauspieler. Historische Anthropologie des Akteurs, Band 1: Schauspielstile. Köln: Hubert von Halem, 2012. Print. Schauspieler. Historische Anthropologie des Akteurs, Band 1: Schauspielstile Google Scholar

Brueggemann, Brenda Jo. “Delivering Disability, Willing Speech.” Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance. Eds Carrie Sandahl and Philip Auslander. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 17–29. Print. Delivering Disability, Willing Speech Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance 17 29 Google Scholar

Davidson, Michael. “Missing Larry: The Poetics of Disability in Larry Eigner.” Beauty is a Verb. The New Poetry of Disability. Eds Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2011. 27–33. Print. Missing Larry: The Poetics of Disability in Larry Eigner Beauty is a Verb. The New Poetry of Disability 27 33 Google Scholar

Fischer-Lichte, Erika. Asthetik des Performativen. Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2004. Print. Asthetik des Performativen Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books, 1977. Print. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias.” Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory. Ed. Neil Leach. London and New York: Routledge, 1997. 330–36. Print. Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory 330 36 Google Scholar

Fuchs, Elionor. The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theatre after Modernism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1996. The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theatre after Modernism Google Scholar

Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. “The Politics of Staring: Visual Rhetorics of Disability in Popular Photography.” Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities. Eds Sharon L. Snyder, Brenda Jo Brueggemann, and Rosemarie Garland Thomson. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2002. 56–65. Print. The Politics of Staring: Visual Rhetorics of Disability in Popular Photography Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities 56 65 Google Scholar

Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. Staring: How We Look. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Print. Staring: How We Look Google Scholar

Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor, 1959. Print. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life Google Scholar

Birkner, Nina, Andrea Geier, and Urte Helduser. Spielräume des Anderen. Geschlecht und Alterität im postdramatischen Theater. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2014. Print. Spielräume des Anderen. Geschlecht und Alterität im postdramatischen Theater Google Scholar

Kamper, Dietmar. “Das Phantasma des ganzen und des zerstückelten Körpers.” Die Wiederkehr des Körpers. Eds Dietmar Kamper and Christoph Wulf. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1984. U5–I34. Print. Das Phantasma des ganzen und des zerstückelten Körpers Die Wiederkehr des Körpers Google Scholar

Klessinger, Hanna. Postdramatik. Transformationen des epischen Theaters bei Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, Elfriede Jelinek and Rainald Goetz. Berlin: deGruyter, 2015. Postdramatik. Transformationen des epischen Theaters bei Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, Elfriede Jelinek and Rainald Goetz Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. “Crip Time.” TIKKUN Magazine 29.4 (2014): 29–31. Print. Crip Time TIKKUN Magazine 29.4 29 31 Google Scholar

Lehmann, Hans-Thies. Postdramatic Theatre. Trans. Karen Juers-Munby. Abingdon and New York. Routledge, 2006. Print. Postdramatic Theatre Google Scholar

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1994. Print. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge Google Scholar

McKenzie, Jon. Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. Print. Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance Google Scholar

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Visible and the Invisible. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1968. Print. The Visible and the Invisible Google Scholar

Pavis, Patrice. “Postdramatic Theater.” Performance Studies: Key Words, Concepts and Theories. Ed. Ryan Reynolds. London: Palgrave, 2014. 258–72. Print. Postdramatic Theater Performance Studies: Key Words, Concepts and Theories 258 72 Google Scholar

Roach, Joseph R. “Power’s Body. The Inscription of Morality as Style.” Interpreting the Theatrical Past. Eds Thomas Postelwait and Bruce A. McConachie. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 1989. Print. Power’s Body. The Inscription of Morality as Style Interpreting the Theatrical Past Google Scholar

Sandahl, Carrie. “The Tyranny of Neutral. Disability and Actor Training.” Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance. Eds Carrie Sandahl and Philip Auslander. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2004. 255–68. Print. The Tyranny of Neutral. Disability and Actor Training Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance 255 68 Google Scholar

Sandahl, Carrie and Philip Auslander. “Introduction: Disability Studies in Commotion with Performance Studies.” Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance. Eds Carrie Sandahl and Philip Auslander. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2005. 1–12. Print. Introduction: Disability Studies in Commotion with Performance Studies Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance Google Scholar

Schipper, Imanuel, ed. Ästhetik versus Authentizität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung. Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2012. Print. Ästhetik versus Authentizität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung Google Scholar

Schmidt, Yvonne. “After Disabled Theater. Authorship and Agency in Freie Republik HORA.” Disabled Theater. Eds Benjamin Wihstutz and Sandra Umathum. Chicago: Chicago UP, 2015. 227–41. Print. After Disabled Theater. Authorship and Agency in Freie Republik HORA Disabled Theater 227 41 Google Scholar

Schmidt, Yvonne. “Theater und Behinderung.” Bühne und Büro. Gegenwartstheater in der Schweiz. Eds Andreas Kotte Frank Gerber, and Beate Schappach. Zurich: Chronos, 2012. 357–76. Print. Theater und Behinderung Bühne und Büro. Gegenwartstheater in der Schweiz 357 76 Google Scholar

Siebers, Tobin. Disability Aesthetics. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2010. Print. Disability Aesthetics Google Scholar

Siebers, Tobin. “Un/Sichtbar. Observationen über Behinderung auf der Bühne.” Ästhetik versus Authentizität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung. Ed. Imanuel Schipper. Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2012, 16–32. Print. Un/Sichtbar. Observationen über Behinderung auf der Bühne Ästhetik versus Authentizität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung 16 32 Google Scholar

Wihstutz, Benjamin. “Schauspiel als Emanzipation: Das australische Back to Back Theatre, seine Ästhetik und Arbeitsweise.” Ästhetik versus Authenzität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung. Ed. Imanuel Schipper. Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2012. 145–53. Print. Schauspiel als Emanzipation: Das australische Back to Back Theatre, seine Ästhetik und Arbeitsweise Ästhetik versus Authenzität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung 145 53 Google Scholar

Willcoxon, Jeanne. “Postdramatic Theatre.” Theatre Topics 18.2 (2008): 248–49. Print. Postdramatic Theatre Theatre Topics 18.2 248 49 Google Scholar

Bartlett, Jennifer, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen, eds. Beauty is a Verb. The New Poetry of Disability. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2011. Print. Beauty is a Verb. The New Poetry of Disability Google Scholar

Baumbach, Gerda. Schauspieler. Historische Anthropologie des Akteurs, Band 1: Schauspielstile. Köln: Hubert von Halem, 2012. Print. Schauspieler. Historische Anthropologie des Akteurs, Band 1: Schauspielstile Google Scholar

Brueggemann, Brenda Jo. “Delivering Disability, Willing Speech.” Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance. Eds Carrie Sandahl and Philip Auslander. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 17–29. Print. Delivering Disability, Willing Speech Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance 17 29 Google Scholar

Davidson, Michael. “Missing Larry: The Poetics of Disability in Larry Eigner.” Beauty is a Verb. The New Poetry of Disability. Eds Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2011. 27–33. Print. Missing Larry: The Poetics of Disability in Larry Eigner Beauty is a Verb. The New Poetry of Disability 27 33 Google Scholar

Fischer-Lichte, Erika. Asthetik des Performativen. Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2004. Print. Asthetik des Performativen Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books, 1977. Print. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias.” Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory. Ed. Neil Leach. London and New York: Routledge, 1997. 330–36. Print. Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory 330 36 Google Scholar

Fuchs, Elionor. The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theatre after Modernism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1996. The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theatre after Modernism Google Scholar

Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. “The Politics of Staring: Visual Rhetorics of Disability in Popular Photography.” Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities. Eds Sharon L. Snyder, Brenda Jo Brueggemann, and Rosemarie Garland Thomson. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2002. 56–65. Print. The Politics of Staring: Visual Rhetorics of Disability in Popular Photography Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities 56 65 Google Scholar

Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. Staring: How We Look. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Print. Staring: How We Look Google Scholar

Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor, 1959. Print. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life Google Scholar

Birkner, Nina, Andrea Geier, and Urte Helduser. Spielräume des Anderen. Geschlecht und Alterität im postdramatischen Theater. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2014. Print. Spielräume des Anderen. Geschlecht und Alterität im postdramatischen Theater Google Scholar

Kamper, Dietmar. “Das Phantasma des ganzen und des zerstückelten Körpers.” Die Wiederkehr des Körpers. Eds Dietmar Kamper and Christoph Wulf. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1984. U5–I34. Print. Das Phantasma des ganzen und des zerstückelten Körpers Die Wiederkehr des Körpers Google Scholar

Klessinger, Hanna. Postdramatik. Transformationen des epischen Theaters bei Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, Elfriede Jelinek and Rainald Goetz. Berlin: deGruyter, 2015. Postdramatik. Transformationen des epischen Theaters bei Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, Elfriede Jelinek and Rainald Goetz Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. “Crip Time.” TIKKUN Magazine 29.4 (2014): 29–31. Print. Crip Time TIKKUN Magazine 29.4 29 31 Google Scholar

Lehmann, Hans-Thies. Postdramatic Theatre. Trans. Karen Juers-Munby. Abingdon and New York. Routledge, 2006. Print. Postdramatic Theatre Google Scholar

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1994. Print. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge Google Scholar

McKenzie, Jon. Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. Print. Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance Google Scholar

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Visible and the Invisible. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1968. Print. The Visible and the Invisible Google Scholar

Pavis, Patrice. “Postdramatic Theater.” Performance Studies: Key Words, Concepts and Theories. Ed. Ryan Reynolds. London: Palgrave, 2014. 258–72. Print. Postdramatic Theater Performance Studies: Key Words, Concepts and Theories 258 72 Google Scholar

Roach, Joseph R. “Power’s Body. The Inscription of Morality as Style.” Interpreting the Theatrical Past. Eds Thomas Postelwait and Bruce A. McConachie. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 1989. Print. Power’s Body. The Inscription of Morality as Style Interpreting the Theatrical Past Google Scholar

Sandahl, Carrie. “The Tyranny of Neutral. Disability and Actor Training.” Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance. Eds Carrie Sandahl and Philip Auslander. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2004. 255–68. Print. The Tyranny of Neutral. Disability and Actor Training Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance 255 68 Google Scholar

Sandahl, Carrie and Philip Auslander. “Introduction: Disability Studies in Commotion with Performance Studies.” Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance. Eds Carrie Sandahl and Philip Auslander. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2005. 1–12. Print. Introduction: Disability Studies in Commotion with Performance Studies Bodies in Commotion. Disability & Performance Google Scholar

Schipper, Imanuel, ed. Ästhetik versus Authentizität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung. Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2012. Print. Ästhetik versus Authentizität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung Google Scholar

Schmidt, Yvonne. “After Disabled Theater. Authorship and Agency in Freie Republik HORA.” Disabled Theater. Eds Benjamin Wihstutz and Sandra Umathum. Chicago: Chicago UP, 2015. 227–41. Print. After Disabled Theater. Authorship and Agency in Freie Republik HORA Disabled Theater 227 41 Google Scholar

Schmidt, Yvonne. “Theater und Behinderung.” Bühne und Büro. Gegenwartstheater in der Schweiz. Eds Andreas Kotte Frank Gerber, and Beate Schappach. Zurich: Chronos, 2012. 357–76. Print. Theater und Behinderung Bühne und Büro. Gegenwartstheater in der Schweiz 357 76 Google Scholar

Siebers, Tobin. Disability Aesthetics. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2010. Print. Disability Aesthetics Google Scholar

Siebers, Tobin. “Un/Sichtbar. Observationen über Behinderung auf der Bühne.” Ästhetik versus Authentizität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung. Ed. Imanuel Schipper. Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2012, 16–32. Print. Un/Sichtbar. Observationen über Behinderung auf der Bühne Ästhetik versus Authentizität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung 16 32 Google Scholar

Wihstutz, Benjamin. “Schauspiel als Emanzipation: Das australische Back to Back Theatre, seine Ästhetik und Arbeitsweise.” Ästhetik versus Authenzität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung. Ed. Imanuel Schipper. Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2012. 145–53. Print. Schauspiel als Emanzipation: Das australische Back to Back Theatre, seine Ästhetik und Arbeitsweise Ästhetik versus Authenzität? Reflexionen über die Darstellung von und mit Behinderung 145 53 Google Scholar

Willcoxon, Jeanne. “Postdramatic Theatre.” Theatre Topics 18.2 (2008): 248–49. Print. Postdramatic Theatre Theatre Topics 18.2 248 49 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Schmidt, Yvonne